Shop the Show: A New Phoenix Exhibition Shines a Light on Five Artists Experimenting With the Possibilities of Color

"Chromatic" at Bentley Gallery features works by Heather Hutchison, Dion Johnson, Michael Reafsnyder, Richard Roth, and Eric Zammitt.

Dion Johnson, Stratosphere (2020). Courtesy of Bentley Gallery.
Dion Johnson, Stratosphere (2020). Courtesy of Bentley Gallery.

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What You Need to Know: “Chromatic” at Phoenix’s Bentley Gallery brings together the work of five contemporary artists—Heather Hutchison, Dion Johnson, Michael Reafsnyder, Richard Roth, and Eric Zammitt—for whom color is the primary means of expression. While each artist’s approach is distinct, his or her works are in their own ways perceptual challenges, in which the eye works to make sense of exactly where color and form begin and end. 

Why We Like It: The five artists in this exhibition each tap into the various legacies of abstract art making, from Color Field painting to Minimalist sculpture, while playfully mixing and reimagining these traditions to engaging ends. Richard Roth’s dimensional paintings—each rendered on a box-shaped plywood base—harken to the likes of both Donald Judd’s stacks and Piet Mondrian’s geometric forms, but here compressing and expanding their dimensions in visual twists. Meanwhile, Heather Hutchison’s plexiglass works channel Mark Rothko’s abstractions, while tapping into the rhythms and paces of music. References aside, these five artists provocatively posit ways in which color can be a vehicle for spiritual questions, formal essence, and transcendence.

Installation view "Chromatic," 2021. Courtesy of Bentley Gallery. Photograph by ClutchPhotos.

Installation view “Chromatic,” 2021. Courtesy of Bentley Gallery. Photo by ClutchPhotos.

What the Gallery Says: “Making a virtue of confusion, the abstract paintings by Heather Hutchison, Dion Johnson, Michael Reafsnyder, Richard Roth, and Eric Zammitt not only compel us to confront the limits of our comprehension, they also make those limits visible to others… None of the experiences or insights the works by these five artists generate could happen if you didn’t have the patience to give them a little time and a bit of honest, open-minded attentiveness,” wrote David Pagel in an essay accompanying the exhibition.

 

Richard Roth
Hell Gate 2 (2020)
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Richard Roth, Hell Gate 2 (2020). Courtesy of Bentley Gallery.

Richard Roth, Hell Gate 2 (2020). Courtesy of Bentley Gallery.

 

Eric Zammitt
YellowPink Wedge (2014–21)
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Eric Zammitt, YellowPink Wedge (2014–2021). Courtesy of Bentley Gallery.

Eric Zammitt, YellowPink Wedge (2014–2021). Courtesy of Bentley Gallery.

 

Dion Johnson
Acrobat (2020)
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Dion Johnson, Acrobat (2020). Courtesy of Bentley Gallery.

Dion Johnson, Acrobat (2020). Courtesy of Bentley Gallery.

 

Heather Hutchison
Approaching (2021)
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Heather Hutchison, Approaching (2021). Courtesy of Bentley Gallery.

Heather Hutchison, Approaching (2021). Courtesy of Bentley Gallery.

Chromatic” is on view at Bentley Gallery through June 26, 2021. 


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